Detection of preneoplasia in histologically normal prostate biopsies

M. D. Slater*, W. J. Delprado, C. R. Murphy, J. A. Barden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


P2X immunolabeling of prostate detected preneoplastic changes in apparently normal tissue. Labeling occurred in two well-defined stages before the diagnostic histological markers of cancer were visible. As cancer progressed, the location of P2X expression changed from confinement within individual nuclei in the acini (stage 1) to a cytoplasmic punctate label in the acinal epithelium, with an associated removal of nuclear stain (stage 2). Finally, in advanced cases, where clear morphological evidence of cancer was apparent, the P2X label condensed exclusively on the apical epithelium (stage 3). BPH/normal tissue was entirely devoid of P2X label. Biopsy samples (77) were tested in three categories. One group (35) were diagnosed as normal benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) on the basis of haematoxylin and eosin (H&E) stain, although underlying disease was suspected. Of these, 14 (40%) were clearly normal and appeared entirely devoid of label, 13 (37%) exhibited the first stage of P2X receptor labeling and the remaining eight (23%) exhibited second stage labeling. The accompanying H&E-stained sections of all these cases had a normal appearance. Low grade cancer biopsy samples with Gleason scores G4-7 (25) all revealed widespread second stage receptor labeling in areas of both normal and cancerous morphology, while 17 high grade cancer biopsy samples (Gleason G8-10) all showed third stage labeling along with some residual second stage labeling. The features of each P2X labeling stage occupied the entire histological area affected, offering more opportunity to diagnose the tissue than was supplied by the more-localised diagnostic features identified by H&E-stain. Besides detecting cases of preneoplasia in biopsies with a normal H&E appearance, this technique was also able to rule out the presence of neoplasia in purely hyperplasic prostates by the absence of any P2X labeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-96
Number of pages5
JournalProstate Cancer and Prostatic Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Calcium channels
  • Diagnosis
  • P2X receptor
  • Prostate cancer


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